Dig through other people’s crates from 12 pm to 4 pm today at Fiftyonewest’s Record Fair. Free, bring cash.
From 10 am Saturday to 7 pm Sunday, play all the pins and vids you want for $25 a day or $35 for the weekend at ZapCon at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown. I mean, check the list of games. Plus 100 Yen, the Japanese arcade documentary, a pinball tourney… ah who cares. They’ll have a TRON: Legacy pin. I’m camping out on that shit.
Saturday 12 April 2014 – Godhunter, Amigo the Devil, Inoculara, and Chamber at The District Tavern in Tucson – 9:30 pm, free
Comics in 2014 are a strange concept in general. I grew up with them, but at 33 find myself burned out on so much. The old standbys, Marvel and DC, put out hundreds of issues a month between them but sadly, maybe only 5-10 are really interested in doing anything new. The big companies are mostly set on maintaining their decades old creations as future film/ licensing franchises (you almost can’t blame them as that’s where the money REALLY is) and the independent scene is-by and large- following along on a smaller, if more creative, scale. So many small independent books are big on ideas, yet in execution can come across like storyboards for a movie option the creators are (not-so) secretly eyeing up. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, and this week brings the long awaited return of one of my favorites: FUNRAMA by Ryan Kelly.
FUNRAMA is the lifelong passion work of Kelly (LUCIFER, LOCAL, THREE) and as such has that weird mix of a carefully thought out world AND the kind of craziness that happened in the comics you probably drew yourself when you were in grade school. Stuff doesn’t always have to make perfect sense, yet you know that underneath it all there is a solid framework. Issues 1 and 2 are mostly unrelated, with (if i recall correctly) very slight references to each other. #3 looks to be its own stand alone thing from what I have seen (Ryan offered a pdf for me to review, but that’s just no way to read a comic I have been anticipating for a year+), looking to the past of the world that FUNRAMA resides in by taking the ridiculous (man becoming cactus) and smashing it up against the serious (the Minnesota labor riots of 1934). The first issue is available free to read online over here, and the new issue will be up for order here.
There is a certain weird whimsy to this book, something that is hard to quantify. It just feels like an artist cutting loose and having fun with what HE enjoys, and the result is really something special. The fact that this book cannot get produced by a publisher and Kelly has to put so much of himself on the line to even get it made is a sad statement on the current market for comics in the US, but really that’s a whole other post in itself. I know buying a print copy can look a little pricey, but think about it like the equivalent of buying a new 7″ from a band you really want to support: it is totally worth it (especially since my copy of #2 came with an original piece of art!). Even if you are on the fence, there is always the cheaper download option for you tablet-readin folks. In an industry where many long time readers lament the lack of ‘fun’ in comics, FUNRAMA dares to go ahead and put it right there in the title. Do this.